Rooms / Study
'Earthquake 5.9' bookcase
Patricia Urquiola / Budri
In May 2012, when an earthquake struck the Emilia region of Spain, stone company Budri’s marble and onyx slabs were shattered into hundreds of pieces. In an effort to turn catastrophe into triumph, Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola has fashioned the stone fragments into a line of angular pieces of furniture including this irregular, hexagonal bookcase.
Borja Garcia Studio / Punt
With its simple, straightforward oak or walnut construction, the 'Ernest' desk by Valencia brand Punt brings warmth and order to the office. Although traditional in appearance, Ernest is designed for the digital age, providing cable management through a channel in its back leg and storage for digital devices beneath its desktop.
Nendo / Conde House
Constructed by the skilled craftsmen at Asahikawa-based furniture brand Conde House, Nendo's 'Fold' shelving is made up of seamlessly interlocking wooden boards. The zig-zagging design provides ample storage space that can be accessed from both back and front, making it suitable for use as a room divider as well as well as a shelving unit.
Luis Arrivillaga / Luis Arrivillaga
This charming bookend comes from the mind of Guatemalan designer, Luis Arrivillaga. Eschewing the usual two-strong pairing, Arrivillaga's bookends come as a trio and also serve as desktop storage. Each wood and cast-iron form comes with hidden compartments where paper clips, erasers and other odds and ends can be concealed from view.
'Minima 3.0' shelving system
Bruno Fattorini & Partners / MDF Italia
Price on request
It's always a difficult task to improve on a classic without losing the beauty of the original. However, it would seem that Bruno Fattorini & Partners has managed to strike the perfect balance with its updated 'Minima' shelving. An aluminum bookcase with detachable panels, the 1997 original has been redeveloped with brightly coloured modular containers that can be slotted into the frame to create compartments.
Luca Nichetto / De Padova
Price on request
Venice-based Luca Nichetto was one of the busiest designers at this year's Salone del Mobile. And out of all of his product launches (he is a regular collaborator with brands such as Cassina, Foscarini, Casamania and Nodus), it was his versatile 'Deck' chair for De Padova that caught our eye. Although the design is inspired by seaside promenades, this is not a deck chair in the traditional sense. The chair's plastic structure comes with a variety of bases, seat and arm options to suit any environment from office to outdoor. In this case, a swivel base and upholstered seat make for the perfect desk chair.
Christophe Pillet / Ceccotti
Italian cabinetmakers Ceccotti Collezioni can always be relied on to produce exquisitely crafted wood furniture. Its standout piece this year was this perfectly proportioned desk by french designer Christophe Pillet. its frame is made of American walnut, the inconspicuous central drawer of maple, and its angular structure is softened with rounded edges and a leather writing surface.
Rodolfo Dordoni / Flos
At this year's Euroluce fair in Milan, Flos exhibited a jaw-droppingly beautiful array of new lighting designs by big names such as Paul Cocksedge and Philippe Starck. This perfectly poised task lamp by Italian architect and designer Rodolfo Dordoni was among the highlights. Available with a table or a clamp base, it features a tapered diffuser that provides an even, direct light.
'Radient' table lamp
Rich Brilliant Willing / Rich Brilliant Willing
American design outfit Rich Brilliant Willing deserves the spotlight once again for its satisfyingly minimal new 'Radient' table lamp. Casting a soft glow over a tabletop, the lamp has been fashioned out of metal and wood in the company's Manhattan studio.
Patrick Frey / Richard Lampert
We're no strangers to just a little creative clutter about the place. But with its clean lines and clearly defined structure, Patrick Frey's 'Stak' offers a more utopian ideal that we are now one step closer to achieving. The modular storage system comes in a palette of sophisticated colours, from neutrals to yellow and even pink. Available in various sizes, the slender steel containers, trays and trolleys slide simply into each other and can be installed with doors and drawers for greater discretion.
'R BRAA' desk lamp
Asaf Weinbroom Studio / Asaf Weinbroom Studio
Asaf Weinbroom's architectural desk lamp is one thing we wouldn't mind staying up into the small hours with. The Tel Aviv-based lighting designer's newest collection, Braa, is a creative juxtaposition of materials. Weinbroom, who predominantly works with wood, has used sand-blasted brass tubes, and details in Corian and Formica, to give the underpinning maple features an added touch of luxury. The full range also includes a linear ceiling lamp and several tabletop versions.
'BS 01' desk
Bruno Serrão / Wewood
Conceived as a compact work station, this desk embodies what we demand most from a work environment: a world of creative possibilities. Hidden under its smooth surface are eight drawers and compartments of various sizes for storing each and every work-related accoutrement. Designed by Bruno Serrão and skillfully produced from solid French oak by young Portuguese joinery company Wewood - without the use of any screws or nails - this is one hard worker.
GamFratesi / Danish Crafts
We spotted this lovely specimen of an office chair among the exhibits at 'Mindcraft', Danish Crafts' annual ode to Danish design, which pairs the country's most exciting design talents and its established manufacturers to great effect. With its wiry legs on castors, the quirky 'Beetle' by multidisciplinary studio GamFratesi loyally references the anatomy of its entomological inspiration while still embodying Denmark's unmistakable, fuss-free sensibility. Comfortably upholstered and easily stackable, it's one bug we'd welcome into our office.
David Weatherhead / Thorsten Van Elten
Originally designed in a limited edition for an exhibition at Goodd called ‘A product of Geometry’, these wall clocks explore a sense of the primary, essential and formal in object design. With echoes of Bauhaus, road safety signs, and the back reflectors on a trailer, the elegant Douglas fir clocks have – of course - the added bonus of telling the time.
CSYS task light
Jake Dyson / Jake Dyson
Jake Dyson has cornered a niche for highly-engineered wall and floor lights, and the latest addition to his stable brings his meticulous attention to detail to deskwork too. In the design of the LED task light - available in black, white, blue, red and grey - Dyson has applied precision design to the control of heat, durability, colour and light distribution. Introducing an efficient cooling system to make the LED bulbs last even longer than they already do, the eco-credentials of the lamp give us an inner glow as well as lighting up our paperwork.
'Felt & Gravity' storage box
Amy Hunting / Amy Hunting
London-based Norwegian rising design star Amy Hunting uses an unusual combination of Douglas fir, 100% wool, solid brass and gravity for her collection of made-to-order storage boxes and tables. The hanging storage compartment is strengthened by the weight placed inside. The knock down construction is held together by solid brass nuts and bolts, and with the odd shapes of wood left over, Hunting has also made a series of bold blue book ends.
'Big Bounce' lamp
Jonah Takagi / Atelier Takagi
Jonah Takagi's work combines rigorous technical skill with an instinctive feel for the absurd. The results, like this lamp which looks like the offspring of a welding torch and a stethoscope, are both quirky and practical. Its 'big bounce', or reflected light, is provied by a disc that hovers above the light aperture.
'Calendrier Ring' calendar
Sebastian Bergne / Atelier d'exercices
Perpetual calenders are tricky things to design in part because you have to incorporate disparate elements and various date combinations in a cohesive whole and in a way that doesn't require a degree in advanced maths to read. Resembling a deconstructed astrolab, London-based designer Sebastian Bergne's 'Calendrier Ring' achieves the goal most admirably with just three interlocking circles. Dates are marked simply by lining up the relevant circle to a central rod that acts as both a hinge and date marker. In the Calendrier, Bergne, whose works have shown at the Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art has created a calendar that will never date.
Nika Zupanc / Nika Zupanc
price on request
We first spotted this chair and table at Spazio Rossana Orlandi during the recent Salone del Mobile in Milan. Amidst the frenzy of the week's exhibitions and shows, Nika Zupanc's pared back designs were a calming balm. We were particularly taken by the sinuous curves of the desk chair whose slender legs balanced on brass wheels. This charming nostalgic touch is replicated in the desk, a modern yet extraordinarily rationale interpretation of the traditional roll top desk. What appears at first glance to be a standard flat top table unlatches and lifts to reveal pleated concertina folds that act as shelving. Drop the lid and all your paperwork is hidden away. The proverbial messy desk just became a thing of the past.
Studio Job / Lensvelt
There's a cheerful Alice in Wonderland quality about this series of cupboards by Studio Job for Dutch office furniture retailer Lensvelt. Available in 13 exuberant colours, including a pinkish white and radiant yellow, these cupboards will brighten even the most dour of office spaces. Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel, the chief designers at the Antwerp and Netherlands-based Studio Job, say their design reflects the fact that offices are looking more and more like home. Which explains the quirky touches such as the oversized bronze key and flexible shelving system. The result, say the Dutch duo, is a storage solution that is a 'perfect symbiosis between industrial mass production and the personal object'.
Laure Gremion / Alessi / ECAL
price on application
It's never a good idea, especially in an office setting, to be caught watching the clock, but it's difficult not to make an exception with Laure Gremion's hypnotic Volta; the dizzying pattern is created by the movement of the second hand against a circular face spoked with 60 radiating lines. The result is, dare we say it, a timely reimagining of a quotidian object but executed with a quiet intelligence and restraint that bodes well for Germion's future. More so because the Volta is part of an imaginative series of desk and office accessories designed for Alessi by Germion and her fellow second year students in the industrial design bachelor programme at ECAL. For now, the Volta exists only as a prototype, but be assured we're barracking for its eventual production.
'Alog' shelving system
Johannes Herbertsson and Karl Henrik Rennstam / RVW
Here it is - proof that design really does make a difference in our lives. This modular shelving system from Johannes Hertsson and Karl Henrik Rennstarn is easily detachable and requires no fittings - rendering Sunday afternoon DIY sessions quarrel-free. The T-shaped design references the language of grids and allows for various compositions.
'Pen Monster' stationary case
Tomàs Kràl and Camille Blin / Okolo
Serial mislayers of writing implements can now keep their pens and pencils safely stored within the stylish locked jaws of the Pen Monster. Tomàs Kràl and Camille Blin came up with this wooden container after visiting the woodworking shop of Joseph Miele, where they were inspired by an avertical shaper. Each fiendish tooth encloses around a writing utensil, while a black screw on top locks them in place.
‘W101’ desk light
Claesson Koivisto Rune / Wästberg
A bright example of an all-Swedish collaboration between young lighting company Wästberg, forestry group Söödra and architects Claesson Koivisto Rune, this design is made from a cast iron base and DuraPulp, an entirely renewable, entirely biodegradable paper pulp-based new material. Lighting is from integrated LEDs.
Vincent Van Duysen / Pastoe
It's astonishing how some designers are even able to reinvent the box. Vincent Van Duysen's 'Totem', for Dutch manufacturer Pastoe, is a modular square tower made up of boxes that all turn independently of each other and can be individually customised by colour, finish, height and even the number of shelves within each one.
‘Overdose’ desk tidy
Bram Boo / Bram Boo
Price on request
A messy desk is often seen as a positive – the sign of an independent, creative mind. However, even those of a more orderly, logical bent need no longer come across as anything less than entirely left-brained: Bram Boo’s ‘Overdose’ desk tidy shows it is possible to fake a haphazard filing system in the most pristine work space.
Markus Schmidt / Zeitraum
Manufactured by hardwood specialists Zeitraum, the 'Secret' desk is so called because of its discreet storage capacity: lift-up panels at the back provide a secure hideaway for a laptop, cables and a pencil or two. Made from sturdy solid oak, cherry or walnut, the design is pleasingly academic.